Learn from Moto Tourers with 27 Years of Experience

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Pamela Shaker-Maurer and Walter Maurer firmly believe that motorcycle travel is vastly different from other forms of travel. They live by the quote, “traveling by car is like watching a movie. Traveling by motorcycle is like being in one.”

Moto tourers at Tierra del Fuego
Image by Pamela Shaker-Maurer and Walter Maurer

Their 27-year marriage has always included motorcycles. Walter picked Pamela up for their first date on a 1990 Harly Davidson Springer Softail with straight pipes. In the years that followed, they traveled by motorcycle to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Pacific Northwest, the California Pacific Coast Highway, and the mountain roads near Lake Tahoe. Then in 1995, they toured Europe on rental BMW touring bikes, with follow-up trips to the Alps and Greece.

Realizing that they wanted to visit more of the world by bike, and since 97% of the roads in the world are dirt, they began seeking offroad training. In 2003 they attended BMW’s European Performance Training school using BMW F650s. After their training course, they took off on a week-long trip to Spain on a rented 1150GS. Upon returning home, they immediately bought a BMW R100GS.

Moto tourers posing in front of glacier field.
The Salmon Glacier is the largest glacier in world accessible by road (25 mile dirt road with our bike) | Image by Pamela Shaker-Maurer and Walter Maurer

The very next year, they purchased an R1150GSA, and from there, it was all BMW bikes. Once the dirt bug bit, the Maurers were off on trips to Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, and a number of BMW Motorcycle Owners of America meetings. They owned a dual-bay toy-hauler for a short stint, but that couldn’t compete with the experience of riding two-up on a motorcycle.

READ MORE: Food, Friends, and Adventure Bikes: the Rider Justice Moto Dinner at Overland Expo Mountain West

In the early 2000’s trips to Alaska, Istanbul, Chile, and Peru kept the wheels of adventure turning. In 2012 they toured from Santiago, Chile to Tierra del Fuego, in 2013 they marked Australia and New Zealand off of the “to visit” list, and in 2014 they tackled their longest trip, the Road of Bones. This route took them across Europe, Central Asia, Russia, Siberia, and Mongolia, ending at the Sea of Japan at Vladivostok. On this trip, they were the only travelers riding two-up out of a group of 14.

Their adventures didn’t stop there, and in recent years they’ve completed a five-week trip to Alaska, a trip to Kyrgyzstan, and a return trip to Chile. Needless to say, Pamela and Walter are very dedicated motorcycle travelers. At Mountain West, you can learn from their 27 years of experience in the sessions they’ll lead. In their “Ins and Outs of Motorcycle Touring”, they’ll discuss multiple options when considering self-guided, tour company planned, and in-country options. You’ll have the opportunity to view the film “Beyond Siberia – Riding the Road of Bones,” highlighting the 30,000-kilometer journey and the 16 riders who tackled the trip. Later, you can attend a “behind the scenes” session led by Walter and Pamela to hear their stories and ask any questions you may have about this incredible journey.

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Photo by Brett Willhelm

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